This entry will feature, as the title states, my overall thoughts on liquid foundations, loose powders and my favourite combinations. This might turn out to be a massively messy and disorganised entry, but I want to include everything I can think of in one entry, and always be able to link back here whenever I want to mention or refer to any foundation.
It is no secret that I am a foundation junkie, and foundation/ base products are the first I check out when venturing to a new makeup brand/ counter. If anything is touted to be refining, flawless, long wearing, pore refining, then I will be hopelessly sucked in! I am also very lucky to be able to try out many great foundations because of my blog, and I can make lots more recommendations based on my experience.
** none of these foundations have known to break me out, PHEW! And note, I don't use any MAC foundations except for the Face & Body. [I have tried Studio Sculpt and Studio Fix Fluid in the past - but I have found their shade range is a little off for my tone - I think I hover between NC 15-20].
I seldom use a brush to apply loose powder, unless I want a light sweep to clean away eyeshadow fallouts, so I mainly use the powder puffs that come along, and gently press and roll the puff over my face. And I usually SET my face with powder AFTER the whole makeup routine is done.
A few things I just want to point out though:
1. it is impossible to expect any foundation to last 15 - 16 hours no matter what they claim, due to our horrid humid weather, and especially if you are exposed to the insane weather here. The humidity and heat will definitely wear off your makeup products, in which case, you want to keep your face fresh, dry and shine-free --- and not still look like you have a thick layer of foundation that wouldn't budge under the hot sun.
2. it is also impossible to expect a foundation that will make you OIL FREE and SHINE FREE for the whole day -- maybe 4 - 5 hours ok, and then you prolly need to blot your T-zone. Which is very normal and human. Any foundation that can keep you absolutely shine-free for the whole day, or claims to be, you got to be careful of how it does that! I would make sure I remove every single bit of that foundation off my face, otherwise it will clog up your face! So, it is OK to be shiny after a few hours, it is OK to blot/ powder your face time to time.
3. we don't want a thick layer of foundation. [remember Lisa Eldridge's acne covering tutorial?] Foundation is meant to even out your skin tone. Use concealers sparingly only where you need to. so I tend to like medium buildable coverage foundations instead of a thick layer of full coverage foundation. This also depends on my skin condition, right now, with the exception of spots, I am quite happy, and most foundations I use are able to give me a smooth even coverage without major concealing.
4. I believe in spending the most on foundation. Hence, most of the foundations in my stash are in the mid to high (but not super high end either) range. Foundation is something you put all over your face, and you want to make sure the ingredients are the best, the formulation doesn't cake up your skin, and also give you some skincare properties at the same time, such as sun protection.
5. I have oily-combination skin, and usually I am in the second palest skintone of most foundation brands - neither too pink nor yellow. So it is relatively easy for me to eyeball, and pick a foundation that matches my skintone. This is also bad, cos then I end up with this scary arsenal of foundations.
In this entry, I would not be showing any product swatches, or how I apply them... because I have already many related entries on these. I will just try to describe as succintly as I can, and hopefully it will be hopeful to some of you.
If there is any foundations pictured here which I missed out, it is most likely that I haven't gotten to using them enough to talk about them... and do leave a comment, if you want me to do any specific follow up entry, I will be most glad to do so!
Some foundations may over-lap some categories
BEST EVERYDAY FOUNDATIONS
Clarins Extra Firming Foundation, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Chanel Mat Lumiere, Cover Girl Clean Oil Control
- Lasts relatively well throughout the day (8 hours), with a fresh and clean appearance
- Goes best with a colored loose powder if you want more coverage
- Mat Lumiere and Cover Girl are great at keeping shine at bay
- Easy to blend, and all the colors suit me (esp Mat Lumiere 20, which was a tad dark on me, is now OK cos maybe I am burnt ard my neck and so I can go with a slightly beigier shade)
** Try setting with DermaBlend, Laura Mercier Translucent, Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder
BEST PERFECT FINISH FOUNDATIONS
Lancome Teint Miracle (both the LIQUID AND CREAM versions), Guerlain Lingerie De Peau, Armani Lasting UV, NARS Sheer Glow
- All are relatively light in texture.
- All give flawless, slightly glowy but not oily finish
- Teint Miracle foundations last the longest
- The Armani Lasting UV did not last as long in our humid weather, but it was beautiful while I was in HK where the weather was cooling and not as humid.
- NARS Sheer Glow needs to be matched with NARS Loose Powder for maximum impact in terms of finish and lasting power
- I use these when I want my skin to be extra extra flawless, and I usually top up with Chanel Ultra Fine loose powder (it's like MUFE HD POWDER)
** Try setting with Chanel Ultra Fine Loose Powder, NARS Loose Powder, La Mer Powder
BEST TO SMOOTH OUT COMPLEXION [gives illusion of poreless smooth skin]
Maquillage Cream Stick Foundation
One of my all time faves - this is a repurchase which I never got to open, because of the many others I am currently using.
** Try setting with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder, MUFE Super Matte
LONG LASTING FOUNDATIONS
Estee Lauder Double Wear, Chanel Mat Lumiere, Chanel Pro Lumiere, Max Factor Lasting Performance
Chanel Mat Lumiere has the coverage and lasting power of Double Wear without the 'thickness', which I now like. Double Wear is my top recommendation for long lasting hard core foundation.
** Try setting with DermaBlend, or Laura Mericer Translucent
If you want a luxe foundation, try the Dior Totale Capture and Cosme Decorte cream foundation. The Dior Total Capture foundation feels creamy and slightly heavy to some people, but it blends it and is not cakey. I find it to be an average performer, perhaps not really worth the over $90 price tag. The Cosme Decorte cream foundation smells amazing, and the texture is ultra smooth and whipped. But it is not very long lasting, however, though, as compared to the Shu Uemura face architect, the Cosme Decorte one has a much better consistency and finish.
I use the two MAX FACTOR foundations mainly to lighten any foundations if necessary. But I hardly need to do that right now, because everything fits. The same goes for the Chanel Pro Lumiere, because it is in the shade 030, and used to darken any foundations which are too stark on me.
BEST FOUNDATIONS IF YOU ARE HAVING A GOOD SKIN DAY AND DON'T NEED MUCH COVERAGE
MAC FACE & BODY FOUNDATION, NARS SHEER GLOW
I really like MAC Face and Body for the real skin texture/ finish it gives, but my insecurity about my spots showing through means I hardly reach for it. I only use it on days when I know I won't be out the whole day or meeting a whole bunch of people. I also find that the MAC Face & Body works a lot better, more coverage if you pour it into the palm of your hand, and warm it up before applying directly to your face. Both foundations also photograpgh very well.
BEST FOUNDATIONS FOR PHOTO TAKING
MAC Face & Body, Armani Lasting UV, Lancome Teint Miracle, Chanel Mat Lumiere
[I think this is self-explanatory? Your face will look even more smooth and flawless with these foundations on]
BEST OVERALL LOOSE POWDER
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder
It's not that expensive, it is translucent, so suitable for all skintones. Finely milled, and gives lasting smooth finish to any foundation. Only downside, it is quite hard to find in SG, except at True Colors and we all know the products there all smell FUNKY. Ewwww.
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITES
La Mer Powder, Chanel Natural Finish, MUFE Super Matte
These give some extra SLIGHT coverage, and smooth flawless finish. I love my La Mer powder the best, the texture is somehow so creamy, and so fine, and it evens out your skintone even if you just have sunscreen on. (but it's still translucent, doesn't add color)
The Everyday Minerals powder, and I have several of their samples, while they are smooth and finely milled, I find they don't sit too well on my skin? It's like the powder just sits on my skin, and not 'fused' with my foundation. Maybe because of the mineral formula, and/or I am not applying them right.
FAVOURITE FOUNDATION+POWDER COMBINATIONS
Teint Miracle foundations + La Mer Powder
Chanel Mat Lumiere + Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder
Clarins Extra Firming + Laura Mercier
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum + Laura Mercier / La Mer
NARS Sheer Glow + NARS Loose Powder
I have not mentioned any PRIMERS, POWDER FOUNDATIONS and BB CREAMS in this entry. Do let me know if you want me to do a similar overview for FACE PRIMERS - cos that's another area where I can ramble on and give you a basic low down.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any specific questions, please leave them in the comments below - I hope the 'format' isn't too messy, and somehow it makes sense?
My Foundation Wishlist:
1. Burberry Liquid foundation
2. Laura Mercier Silk Creme (hope I got the name right)
3. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light
4. Chanel Le Blanc Liquid foundation
5. Dior Nude
6. La Mer Creme Foundation
Thanks for reading! And kudos to you, if you made it this far! :)